WAGS in Japan: What the Springbok's partners got up to during the World Cup
While their significant others were muddied and bloodied on the field, the wives and girlfriends of the Springbok rugby team were scoring points on social media. And captain Siya Kolisi’s wife Rachel — with her no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is attitude — was leading the pack.
Rachel let the world know her feelings when a Damian de Allende try was disallowed in the Boks’ World Cup match against Japan on October 20.
She posted a picture on Instagram of herself with son Nicholas Siyamthanda in one arm and a middle finger in the air.
She later wrote on Instagram: “But can we agree we all felt the same at halftime?”
Following the Springboks' record-equalling third Rugby World Cup win on November 2 2019, the South African rugby heroes have been celebrated across the world. From a shoutout from tennis legend Roger Federer, to Faf de Klerk's unique encounter with Prince Harry - here are some of the standout moments from the aftermath of the Springbok victory.
When Kolisi ran onto the field in Saturday's final against England, he also had the support of his father Fezakele in the stands. Kolisi snr was on his first trip abroad.
Rachel made the announcement on Instagram. “My dads are on their way to Japan. uTata’s first overseas trip‚ what a time to be alive‚” she wrote with a picture of her father and her father-in-law.
Other wives and girlfriends, or WAGS as they are commonly known on tour, included Willie le Roux’s girlfriend, Holly Clare Nicol; Damian de Allende’s girlfriend, Domenica Vigliotti; Cheslin Kolbe’s wife, Layla; Steven Kitshoff’s wife, Aimee; and RG Snyman’s fiancee, Saskia Redelinghuys.
The group were often photographed on outings together in Japan. Malcolm Marx’s girlfriend, Kirsten Grant, and Handre Pollard’s wife, Marise, posted photos and videos on Instagram of the “WAG-mobile”, the bus taking them on their various excursions.
Vanes-Mari du Toit, a Protea netball player and Bok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot’s wife, also posted a group photo of the WAGS drinking their mimosas on arrival in Japan.
They also posted photos of themselves wearing Mickey Mouse ears at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Frans Malherbe’s girlfriend, Ingrid van Huyssteen, and Pieter-Steph du Toit’s wife, Willemien, spent a lot of time together and they posted photos of themselves enjoying traditional Japanese meals with their partners.
De Allende and his girlfriend put on quite a show with several pics of them kissing.
When the women were not out enjoying the sights, they were in the stands for a Bok match, wearing their fitted Springbok jerseys.
Social media posts show that every game began with a WAG team talk and a group prayer.
But it wasn’t only the WAGS having fun.
Giant lock Eben Etzebeth was surprised when he was presented with a birthday cake for his 28th birthday on Tuesday.
A photo of him posing with a small cake — flanked by his much shorter teammates Cobus Reinach, Herschel Jantjies, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe standing on chairs — was posted on the Springbok Supporters Club Facebook page.
And then there was the picture that many female fans had been waiting for — one of the team shirtless in the dressing room.
The Springbok scrumhalf had the world admiring his inner carefree party animal after SA's win against England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup on November 2 2019. The team defeated England 32-12 at Yokohama, Japan, to take their third Webb Ellis trophy. The champions quickly got into party mode, with Faf and the team drinking champagne from the cup and him greeting Prince Harry in colourful, patriotic undies, cheered on by his teammates.